Thursday, October 30, 2008


Hope is almost beyond my grasp these days. The death of a beloved mentor has hit me unexpectedly hard. Grief seems to find me in every crack and crevice. Just today more news: my pastor's father died moments before she could make it to his bedside.
There are rivers of tears falling down on us all.
Yet, when I was reading the book of Common Prayer the other day, it said that the liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy.
This thought has kept me thinking all week. The liturgy for the dead is a celebration! How can we be expected to celebrate in moments of our deepest grief?

I am not sure how- but I believe that it everything to do with resurrection. The liturgy for the dead is characterized by joy in the certainty that because Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too, shall be raised.
New life comes from death-

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you while you keep still.

Friday, September 5, 2008

the glory of god

"the glory of god is man fully alive"
~St Irenaeus

thought for the day: what does it mean to be fully alive?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Poem for last week

I can taste anise thick
in the summer air. Hot licorice hangs like a wool curtain
on the back of my throat and coats my pink insides
brunneous like warm molasses traveling down, down-
deeper into dark pools of being.

perhaps there is lightning waiting
around the corner, around the block-
sleeping in the car with the windows rolled up.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Home sweet home. Finally. This is where I will be living with 6 other girls begining September 1. The house hunt has been a long one- especially because not many people want to rent out a place to 7 college students. But this place opened up miraculously. There are pros & cons about the property, but all in all I believe that it will be a good space to live. Of course, it is summer time now and the grass is no longer green, and the tree on the right has since been cut down. I'm trying not to over-romanticize the responsibility of having a large house to upkeep and clean, but at the moment am basking in thankfulness and excitement about a roof over my head and a community of friends to live with.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday head-bob and cookies

Today I got the head-bob from an incredibly fit blond bicyclist in spandex. We were both changing in the women's restroom out of our bike clothes into office-wear. I smiled back at her sheepishly in disbelief; it was like I was in middle school again and had just been invited to the cool kid's table. Me? Really? I am part of the biking club now?
See, the last few days I have more or less felt like a hippo on a rock, trying to roll myself to work.
I am not in shape and what makes it worse is that I am not consistent either. As you might have guessed from my earlier blogging, a lot of my time has been consumed with taking care of my car these days. It is my new tempermental teenager, so to speak, so I have been driving it to work so that I can dart off directly when the 4:30 bell rings to drive to some government office in King County (pick one, any one) and do more paperwork. Seriously, I think it was easier to apply for college, than register my vehicle in the state of Washington.
Anyway, I basically had to force myself back on the bike today. I am one of those people who probably look like they are dying as they are riding; face clenched, sweat beading around my hairline, and breathing hard like I am practicing my lamaze. It's beautiful I am sure.
(If you are interested in some real beautiful bikes- check out my brother's website. He is a bike builder in Portland, OR and does fantastic work: )
Regardless, I am at work now. I made it and am currently (and painfully!) aware that I will have nothing to do for aproximately 7 more hours and that the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made last night for a co-worker's birthday are sitting in the kitchen like little loosers at lunch break. The birthday boy is out of the lab today- it is his birthday right? Silly me. So I made a card to sit next to my toasty little lumps of buttery love that says "Eat me! Happy Friday!" It will be an experiment...let's see what happens.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

oh the ordeal o' the automobile

-drive 3 days (17ish hours) from Monterey, CA to Seattle, WA
-go to the office of drivers licensing
-be turned away after 2 hours of waiting & informed that i am committing voter fraud and must change my voter registration address.
-change my voter registration mailing address...and wait some more.
-go back to office of driver's licensing. process paper work. give them money. go away happy and with a temporary WA license.
-receive my real WA license in the mail- be acutely aware that the pea-green turtleneck I am wearing in the photo will haunt me for many years to come.
-give away more money to have an emission's test done
-collect every important document on the face of the planet- passport, driver's license, proof of registration, title, emissions test report, bill of sale, registration that all?
-take off work (because office is only open M-F 8:30-4:30 pm) give them more money & register vehicle in the blessed state of Washington.
FINALLY. driver side window broke...was informed that it will cost me aprox $400-
so i will wait and then give them a lot more money-a whole paycheck in fact...ouch.

Lab Mice...

So this is what we do at my job for the GI Cancer Research Lab...
1. Scientists take tiny little creatures and give them tumors
2. Then take their blood
3. Then bleed them to death when they are done with them
4. I enter PSA data into spreadsheets
5. I feel a little bit icky about it, blog, and then go home at 5pm.

Friday, July 18, 2008


These pictures were taken by a girl I traveled with on my study abroad trip. Above: taken on the train on our way to Bath.
A great shot of Dingle...dark and brooding and lovely.

Baking Bread

I have debated whether or not to keep this blog of mine going. Life is busy and chances are that I will not do a good job posting regularly. The probability is high that I will forget my username and password for the hundredth time because I have the mind of a goldfish.
But today I am bored at work so I will write anyway.

Dear Summer,
The Spring has come and passed...Dublin, Oxford, London all feels so far away, like distant memories already. It is July now and I am living in Seattle, working two jobs. The weather for the past few weeks has been Eden warm and lovely. I have enjoyed biking to and from work and sitting on the deck of my shared apartment, eating dinner as the blue sky is painted with streaks of pink and pale purple.
Today is overcast and cold. I woke up this morning disoriented because it was dark outside. I am crossing my fingers in hopes that it doesn't rain today because: 1) I have to ride my bike home from work 2) My car window is broken and although mostly up all the way, I don't want a little pool of water on my front seat. 3) It is Friday.
But I do have other things on my mind besides the weather- like baking bread for instance.
Last Saturday when I was at church an announcement was made asking for volunteers to help prepare the communion bread and sanctuary before service. My heart leapt within me! I almost shot my arm up like I was in 4th grade again- overeager and excited to participate.
For the past month I have been thinking about ways to get more involved in the church community I am apart of. There have been the normal requests for help with the Powerpoint, help with music etc...but I just couldn't get excited about any of it. But when the invitation came to bake bread, I knew this is how I wanted to participate.
For me, communion is central to my proclamation of faith. "Christ's body broken for you. take. eat." This is powerful for me because it is so tangible. The sensory experience is important for me. I need to be looked in the eye and called by name, to open my palms and recieve the dense, dark, sweet bread and taste it; to drink from the chalis of strong red wine and feel it travel down my throat in a thick warm current.
None of the broken saltine crackers and dixy cups of grape juice for me- I want the real deal.
This is true about my longing for God in general. I am so tired of the commodified Christ; of the club we misscall the church. I want the real thing- a real faith that is lived out and a real relationship with God that is honest about the beauty and brokeness that surrounds us -not just a device to comfort ourselves or make us feel self-righteous.
So, baking bread. I am very excited eventhough it means going to church 5 hours early to bake and set up the altar and sanctuary. I will report after my induction tomorrow.
In the mean time, here is something I have been thinking about in connection to baking bread.

"For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast."
It comes from a book called The Prophet by Kalhil Gibran, and I think it is lovely.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


It is finals week for us here in Oxford. Just one more paper/presentation and then a long flight home. The last few weeks have been dragging on. It is clear that the majority of the pack (including myself) are tired of traveling. We are living in a youth hostel overrun with french and german 13 year olds. I have played almost every imaginable card game created and have read through a few books unrelated to classes. I think I'm ready to be back soon.
Sorry for the lack of pictures at this point...more to come soon.

As promised...
Here is a picture from Cambridge last week ...

Dr. Chaney, Bis & I are chatting under the spring boughs of the orchard- a famous location beloved by poets and Grassmere locals alike.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Shakespeare's birth place in Stratford on Avon (meaning "street that fords the river").
Countryside in Stratford below...lovely.
so, that's all the photos i have for now. i am actually in Cambridge right now and will be here for about a week more. i am looking forward to settling into my surroundings here. it is a beautiful city- full of bicycles and college students, coffee shops, and trees.

My own work!

I also had the chance to make my own stencil and spray paint my design in the Banksy tunnel I got to leave my own mark in London...

It's the green tree (not the really cool black and white man unfortunately)


For those of you who don't know, Banksy is a popular London graffiti artist. While in London I had the opportunity to see a special three day exhibition of his work (we stood in the queue for almost 2 hours to get in!) and it was fantastic! He is known for very startling and provocative images which often pry at politically and socially charged topics.

Here are a few photos of his work...

Friday, May 2, 2008


It is hard to believe that my time in London is almost drawing to a close; soon we will be heading to Bath by train. Exploring this great city has been wonderful- it is exploding with things to do, museums to see, and lots and lots of different people. I have attempted to be selective in the activities I have chosen to do in London because you can easily exhaust youself by trying to do too much each day. The city is bustling from morning to night- and it is huge! I am just now feeling like I have a relatively coherent understanding of the city layout. Fortunately, transportation is wonderful here. With a map and a tube pass I can get just about everywhere. "Topping up"(adding a few more pounds to my oyster card) has allowed me to get out of the major tourist areas where more of the locals live and work, including places such as Wimbledon (which was exciting for a tennis fan like me!).

The Globe

this is a reconstruction of the original globe theatre. it is made out of a limestone plaster and aprox 1,000 oak trees and held together w. wood pegs (no nails!). also note the thatched roof (outlawed in London now because of fires). we saw king lear performed here and Henry IV part 2 at the Roundhouse theatre. a midsummer nights dream & the tempest are still to come when we are in stratford.


on the tube...the underground is amazing

Dingle pictures

Left to right...
Gallarous Oratory-built between 6th & 9th century-place of early Christian worship.
Friends down at the waterfront: Kait, Katie, Me, Jill, Bis, & Kristi
Beautiful landscape- photo taken during a bus tour of the peninsula


Backtracking a I am in the Lake District. This is Coleridge and Wordsworth's territory. Their poetry resounds with the goodness of nature. Below is a dock there I read As You Like It with a group of friends.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I am in Dingle now, a small town on the west coast of Ireland, and I am in love with this place. It is my favorite location so far on our trip because it has a beautiful landscape, a quaint homey feeling, and although it is very small, it has a thriving music scene. I have gone out the past two nights to listen to traditional Irish music which has been great fun. The first night here I hit up a pub called "The Small Bridge" with some friends and listened to a lively twosome who played fast, upbeat tunes on the penny whistle, guitar & fiddle. Last night I went to a different location and heard a more mello set of sentimental, romantic love songs. (Dad- I am continually surprised by how much of the music is familiar to me. I think the entire population has you "Celtic Tides" CD memorized...) In contrast with the bar scene in America, the pubs here really are the center for social life in Ireland. Music, town gossip, dancing, and storytelling are all snuggly crammed into the local tavern, or rather one of the many pubs on the same street. Pubs are like coffee shops in Seattle: they are everywhere. Dingle has a population of about 1500 and has 52 pubs. And going to out to your favorite pub can be a multi-generational experience as well; old men, women, and even children file in an out of your local pub to hear music and chat over a pint of Guinness.

Yesterday we went on a bus tour around the peninnsula and explored a museum about the Blasket Islands, which focused mostly on the writers and literary history that came out of remote island villages. Peig Sayers, for example, a well known storyteller, represents part of the Blasket tradition.
The coastline was beautiful. The hills were bare, save innumerable colonies of sheep and baby lambs, and dropped off to the sea in a very dramatic way which reminded me of the rocky and windbeaten cliffs of Big Sur. We walked along the cliffs, considered to be the western most point of Europe, and climbed out on the rocks to gaze at the Atlantic. It was enlivening to feel the wind against my skin and to sit in the crevices of the rock, listening to the thunder of the waves smash against the coastline.
Today I am sticking closer to home (we are staying in a hostel) to bunker down with my books and tea (I do have to do homework you know!) but am planning on hiking around the next two days we are here because the wildness of this place keeps calling me outdoors. All for now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dublin- part 2

Today I have been out with my friend Jill simply walking the streets, enjoying St. Stephen's Green (a large park by the famous Grafton St), drinking good coffee (very hard to come by- everyone is into instant coffee over here. This has been a serious trial for me), reading, post-office running and so forth.
It is nice to have a lazy day to trip around the city and feel like a normal resident taking care of life.
While walking through St. Stephen's Green we came across a large bronze bust in memorial to Thomas Kettle. I had never heard of the man before. Apparently he is a poet/ essayist/ patiot who was killed in 1916. The inscription on the memorial struck me; it read:
"Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor. But for a dream born in a heardsman's shed. And For the secret Scripture of the poor."
I wonder what his story's clear that there is a lot to learn...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I have finally arrived in Ireland folks and I am happy...
First of all, we are in apartment style living which means that I am sharing a two bedroom apartment w/ a kitchen and full bathroom with Bis and Jill, two people that I genuinely enjoy- instead of one large hostel room with 18 other girls.
This is a wonderful sigh of relief if you couldn't tell...
So Dublin- what do I have to say? Unfortunately I will have to write instead of show the surroundings for the time being because I have been having computer problems in the internet cafes I have tried to use- meaning I haven't had the opportunity to successfully upload any pictures so as soon as I get the capability you will get to see the Lake District and Dublin all in one fell swoop.
Yesterday we had a small tour of the city w a postgrad student from Trinity College who is working on her PhD in history. She gave a wonderful tour and by the end Ireland's complicated history finally made some sense! It was wonderful to see the puzzle pieces come together as we walked the streets, looked at buildings, and stood in a few central locations- so much better than a textbook!
Did you know that Trinity opened its doors to Catholic students in the late 1970's?
I also had the chance to see the Book of Kells at Trinity which was amazing! The portrait of St John & the text of Luke 17:27-18:2 was on display the day we went and it was incredible to see the actual pages that survived considering they are over a 1000 yrs.
Today we have class so I will be reading and writing and exploring some more.
Time is going by soo fast- it is hard to keep up.
Thanks to all who have sent me little notes along the way- it is nice to feel connected to you back at home- I already have many stories to share.
love love love to all-

Sunday, April 6, 2008


We left Keswick this morning and took a 3 hr busride to Liverpool where we will be staying for one night and then fly off to Dublin. I haven't had enough time to truly process everything but will post some thoughts and pictures soon. Sending my love in the mean time...

Monday, March 31, 2008


We have arrived in Keswick via a terrible bus ride from Edinburgh but the Lake District is beautiful...rolling hillsides, sheep, and cobble stone pathways, so my spirit is holding onto hope.
Unfortunately, both Bis and I are sick and it has gone from bad to worse (a nasty sinus infection that has evolved into an ear infection....) Today we made the treck into town from our hostel in attempt to find a doctor. It was quite a pitiful sight to see us tromping through the mud in search of drugs but we finally made our way to town, found the "surgery" and spoke to a nurse. Fortunately beacuse my mommy has taught me to remember the medicines my body loves we were able to skip a very expensive consulatation with a doctor and basically tell her what we wanted. I'm off now to see the chemist, to finish Romeo & Juliet and then to bed. Oh sweet sleep!Hoping the morrow will bring healing. Farewell and love to you all.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tea Time

Bis and I are enjoying a cup of tea
at a local shop off the Royal Mile.

Here is a huge monument in honor of Sir Walter Scot. Besides being a helpful point of navigational reference, this monument indicates how much the Scottish people revere their writers. They consider literature to have a significant voice and role in shaping their national and cultural identity. I wonder why we don't honor our American authors in the same way?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I have arrived!

Travel Day: We flew direct from Seattle to London and then from London to Edinburgh and finally took a bus ride into the city and our hotel. That night I got a bite to eat, walked around the sleepy city, already locked up for the night, and then attempted to retire for the evening as well. All to no avail. Two days of travel and zero hours of sleep. Hope tonight will be better...

Day 2: Today we went on a walking tour of the city in the morning. Our guide led us past Victoria's garden, art museums, many monuments, and finally to a huge stone castle. It is situated high up on a mount of volcanic rock and is paved with cobble stones that were laid by French POWs. There is so much history in this place- you can literally see the layers of it in the architecture and city construction. After our group time ended my friend Bis and I traveled through the streets on our own. We ate lunch at a little cafe, spoke with a friendly little man at the Writer's Museum (featuring Robert Burns & RL Stevenson of course), visited a massive gothic cathedral, got a local paper, and scoped out little events including a storytelling gathering we are planning on attending tomorrow. The people are interesting. At first they seem to be cold and very reserved; locals walk around with stony faces and make no effort to acknowledge your existence. Yet, after making an inital effort to talk to people I have discovered that they are very warm, eager to tell stories and display their rich history. Their stony exteriors melt away to reveal an endearing sense of hospitality. It feels something like being taken in from the cold and seated by the fire to warm your hands and sip a cup of tea.

Monday, March 24, 2008

British Isles Itinerary

Edinburgh 26 March – 30 March
England’s Lake District 31 March – 5 April
Liverpool 6 April
Dublin 7 -11 April
Dingle 12 -16 April
London 17 April – 5 May
Bath 6 – 8 May
Stratford 9 – 12 May
Cambridge 13-22 May
Oxford 23-29 May

Sunday, March 23, 2008


He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Here is a love note for Carissa Joy, the artistic/tech-creator of this site:
Shouts and claping and a whistle for creating my blog! Thank you dearie.

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”